The date Sept. 22 marked AFROTECH closing out the AFROTECH Executive series for 2023.
Held in Brooklyn, NY, the event was an opportunity for people to gain insights about creating wealth, fintech, and tech innovation.
Speakers that graced the stage included Arian Simone, co-founder and CEO of Fearless Fund, Wemimo Abbey, co-founder and co-CEO of Esusu, and Abim Kolawole, chief audit executive at Northwestern Mutual.
The first fireside chat of the day was titled “Corporate Responsibility in Closing the Wealth Gap: The Blueprint, Presented by NorthWestern Mutual” with Kolawole. The discussion, moderated by Co-founder and CEO at Zirtue Dennis Cail, was about the critical role of corporate responsibility in addressing the wealth gap through real-time examples of NorthWestern Mutual’s initiatives.
There was also a fireside chat with Abbey centering on “The Importance of Investing in Innovative Fintech.” Moderator Ollen Douglass — who is an investor in Esusu — and Abbey spoke about the role fintech plays in creating new avenues for wealth-building and financial inclusion.
Among the professionals in the room was Jacalyn Chapman, who has a background in customer and employee experience. Being her first AFROTECH Executive experience, she shared that she loved the networking portion of the event.
What’s more, she thoroughly enjoyed the fireside chats including Simone’s — “Capital for a Cause: How Fearless Fund is Catalyzing Generational Wealth” — which had a focus on building generational wealth within the Black community.
“So what that looks like in terms of increasing angel investing in our communities and fund investing,” Chapman said. “And just some of the things that [Arian Simone] looks for [of] being left with the [it factor] that someone has when she’s looking at potential entrepreneurs to work with.”
Annellyse Munroe — another first-time attendee — was drawn to how the event created a space for active learning and made attendees feel as if they’re right at home.
“One thing that I really took away is that these speakers are all very authentic and just made me feel very welcomed and comfortable to be in this space,” said Munroe, who works in ad sales. “And they gave us real tangible tips to be successful whether it’s starting our own business, being an entrepreneur in tech but also if we’re already in tech, how we can apply those skills and build our connections laterally.”
Fellow attendee Afnan Idris was also a fan of the authenticity of the speakers featured at AFROTECH Executive Brooklyn.
“I think the big takeaway from this is the power of networking to really close the wealth gap,” she said. “I really love that the speakers came and talked about their authentic founders’ stories, but you also had the venture capitalists telling it from their angle so you got to see the full story.”